While some people are fortunate enough to have naturally straight teeth, the rest of us will have to seek orthodontic help in order to achieve a great smile – 4 life!
Orthodontic problems can result in tooth decay, inefficient chewing function, lead to tooth loss, excessive stress on gum tissue and the bone that supports the teeth, or misalignment of the jaw joints which can lead to chronic headaches and face or neck pain, and worsen gum disease.
Signs that you may need to see an orthodontist are:
- reverse bite (all lower front teeth biting in front of the upper front teeth)
- cross-bite (one or more lower teeth in reverse bite)
- deep bite (upper teeth overlapping the lower teeth completely)
- crowded teeth
- un-erupted or missing teeth
- thumb or finger sucking past age 5 to 6
- early loss of baby teeth
Treatment can be done at any age but early examination allows us to detect and evaluate any problems. It is recommend that a child’s first visit to the orthodontist be between ages 7-8 . Though, in most cases, treatment is not necessary until a few years later. However, interceptive treatment may be initiated in some cases to prevent more problems from developing.
Interceptive treatment may involve:
- habit correction e.g. to break thumb sucking habit
- jaw growth modification to encourage growth of small jaws or hold back excessive growth
- jaw expansion for narrow upper jaw due mainly to mouth breathing habit
- simple fixed or removable braces for a short period of treatment to correct cross-bite, crowded teeth, deep bite and reduce possibility of trauma to protruding teeth
Will an extraction fix the problem?
With proper diagnosis and setting of treatment goals along with correct timing/sequencing of treatment, extractions can be avoided in more than two-thirds of the patients.
For how long?
Duration varies depending on the treatment objectives and severity of the problems. It can range from a few months to two years or more. Regularity and frequency of attendance , maintenance of braces and compliance to instructions during the course of treatment are factors that contribute to the length of treatment.
Two-phase orthodontic treatment is a very specialized process that encompasses tooth straightening and physical, facial changes.
The goal of first phase treatment is to develop the jaw size in order to accommodate all the permanent teeth and to relate the upper and lower jaws to each other.
The goal of the second phase is to make sure each tooth has an exact location in the mouth where it is in harmony with the lips, cheeks, tongue, and other teeth. The second phase is initiated when all permanent teeth have erupted, and usually requires braces on all the teeth for an average of 24 months. Retainers are worn after this phase to ensure you retain your beautiful smile.
Come in for a free consultation with our Certified Orthodontist and we’ll work on a payment plan with you.